Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Pro-Gun Congressmen Introduce Bill to Modernize Gun Sales

Friday, May 3, 2019

Pro-Gun Congressmen Introduce Bill to Modernize Gun Sales

On Wednesday, Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) led several pro-gun members of his caucus – including Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.), Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Clay Higgins (R-La.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), and David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) – in introducing a bill to modernize the way firearms are sold under federal law. The Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act (FICRA) would update antiquated provisions of the Gun Control Act that reflect a bygone era of criminal recordkeeping and remove arbitrary impediments for law-abiding gun buyers and sellers.

Under current law, Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) can only operate in the state in which their business premises is located and can only sell or transfer handguns to persons who live in that state. An FFL can sell a long gun to a person who lives out of state, provided the sale occurs in a face-to-face transaction and complies with the laws of the state of sale and the state of residence of the purchaser. It used to be these non-resident long gun sales could only occur to residents of contiguous states, but that limitation was removed in 1986 by the Firearm Owners Protection Act.

Nevertheless, handgun sales continue to be subject to strict in-state only rules. This reflects now obsolete provisions of the so-called “Brady Bill” that required FFLs to transmit information about prospective buyers or transferees to the “chief law enforcement officer [CLEO] of the place of residence of the transferee.” The CLEO was then supposed to run a background check on the prospective transferee. The transfer could only occur once the CLEO notified the FFL there was no information that receipt of the handgun by the transferee would violate federal, state, or local law or until at least five business days had elapsed without notice from the CLEO that the transfer would violate the law. 
FICRA would update the law so FFLs could sell long guns or handgun to customers from out of state. It would also permit FFLs to sell firearms at gun shows outside the state where their licensed premises are located. In either case, the sale would have to occur in a face-to-face transaction and comply with the laws both of the buyer’s state of residence and the state where the sale occurred. The FFL would also have to comply with all the recordkeeping, identification, and background check requirements that apply to any other retail sale.

This scheme, in turn, reflected the mainly localized nature of criminal justice recordkeeping that pre-dated the digital revolution. Now, of course, criminal records are centralized in digital state and federal databases and are available almost instantaneously anywhere in the nation. This advance of technology led to the National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) which replaced the five-day provisions of the Brady Act in 1998.  NICS allows for virtually immediate point-of-sale determinations about a transferee’s eligibility to receive a firearm, drawing on records from across the United States.

Since 1998, moreover, NICS has only grown more comprehensive as states have routinized their automated forwarding of records to the system and computer technology has proliferated and improved.

These same advances make it much easier, moreover, for FFLs to be able to stay abreast of the laws of other states. Numerous online databases include detailed information about state firearm laws, including those relating to the purchase of handguns.

All these developments make it unnecessary for FFLs to limit handgun sales only to residents of the state in which the FFL is licensed. Today, NICS contains records from every state in the nation, and if there’s any question about the rules and procedures of handgun sales in a given state, FFLs can quickly find accurate information from trustworthy online sources.

The relatively uncontroversial nature of interstate long gun sales also underscores that it is long past time to remove the arbitrary barriers that persist with handgun sales.

FICRA would update the law so FFLs could sell long guns or handgun to customers from out of state. It would also permit FFLs to sell firearms at gun shows outside the state where their licensed premises are located. In either case, the sale would have to occur in a face-to-face transaction and comply with the laws both of the buyer’s state of residence and the state where the sale occurred. The FFL would also have to comply with all the recordkeeping, identification, and background check requirements that apply to any other retail sale.

The bill would additionally address the unique situations of active duty military members and members of the civilian foreign service to ensure that postings away from their usual U.S. states of legal residence does not cost them their ability to lawfully exercise their Second Amendment right to acquire a firearm.

The upshot of all these changes is that federal and state laws would continue to be enforced, while gun sellers and consumers would have more freedom and flexibility to conduct their lawful activities. In a sane world, it would be considered an uncontroversial update to laws that had not kept pace with technology and modern law enforcement and a way to protect the rights of those who in service to their country sacrifice the relatively stable and predictable residence situations most others enjoy.

Unfortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives has not lately been a model of rational or practical thinking. But should Congress decide a return to sanity is in order, FICRA would be an excellent place to start.

The NRA thanks Whip Scalise and the cosponsors of FICRA for their leadership in this important effort and commends the bill for swift action by Congress. Please contact your United States Representative and ask them to support and cosponsor FICRA. Additionally, you may call your U.S. Representative using the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

 

TRENDING NOW
Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

On May 21st, the Illinois state House Judiciary Committee voted 12-7 to pass House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966.  While it has not yet been scheduled for further action, the House may take it ...

Washington: Lawsuit Against I-1639 Proceeds After Motion To Dismiss Denied

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Washington: Lawsuit Against I-1639 Proceeds After Motion To Dismiss Denied

On May 20th, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington rejected a motion by the government defendants to dismiss the lawsuit filed by NRA and the SAF against Washington’s gun control ...

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

At the National Retail Federation’s 2018 convention in New York City, Levi Strauss & Co. Brand President James Curleigh told those assembled that the multinational pants manufacturer intends to be the “most relevant lifestyle brand.” Evidently, part ...

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

Can we finally put the claim that “gun violence” research is underfunded to rest? The Bloomberg Professor of American Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Daniel Webster, and his colleagues at the Hopkins ...

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Monday, May 20, 2019

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Last week, the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees took up their respective suspense files ahead of the Friday, May 17, fiscal deadline. Some of the more egregious gun bills failed to meet the deadline including ...

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox reported in March, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a challenge by an NRA state affiliate to a New York City gun control scheme that effectively prohibits lawfully ...

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday for signing NRA-backed legislation that protects tenants’ rights by prohibiting “no firearms” clauses in residential leases.   

Illinois: Committee To Receive FOID Cost Increase Legislation

Friday, May 17, 2019

Illinois: Committee To Receive FOID Cost Increase Legislation

On May 21st, the Illinois state House of Representatives Rules Committee will hear House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966 and send it to the Judiciary Committee for further consideration.  HA 1 to SB 1966 would ...

Working Together to Save the Second Amendment Part II: State Success Stories

News  

Hunting  

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Working Together to Save the Second Amendment Part II: State Success Stories

When I started with NRA in 1995, most of the attention our organization received was over legislative efforts in Congress. Firearm-related legislation at the federal level obviously has an impact on far more law-abiding gun ...

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens does not believe a law-abiding citizen has a right to possess firearms under the Second Amendment, and he wants to make sure everyone knows it. He made his ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.